Investors and thought leaders from Silicon Valley and New York will be present on the 11th and 12th of June to meet with members of the French Tech Initiative and with government officials.
The objective: to demonstrate the advantages of France as a start-up nation, beyond the clichés…
Paris, France – June 5th 2014
As an effort launched by Jérôme Lecat, CEO of Scality, as part of the French Tech Initiative, and in partnership with Bpifrance, France Digitale, AFII (Invest in France Agency) and with Tariq Krim, CEO of Jolicloud, this summit builds on the momentum created by President Hollande’s visit to Silicon Valley in February 2014. For two days, French Tech will welcome six leading investors whose groups manage more than $10B in startup investments, and two influential Silicon Valley tech leaders for an unprecedented meeting between US tech investors and their French counterparts.
Because of the importance of technology innovation in fostering growth and employment in France, the French government launched the French Tech Initiative. French Tech refers to all the participants in the French startup ecosystem. The Initiative seeks to accelerate the development of startups and the digital economy in France and to strengthen the international appeal of French Tech. The French Tech Initiative is a joint venture between the private and public sectors and has received €215M as part of the Future Investment Program. It is directed by the French Tech Mission as part of the Secretary of State for Digital Affairs (www.lafrenchtech.com)
The summit will explore joint opportunities to leverage the unique strengths of the French and US startup communities. At a time when engineers are scarce in California, and companies need to look beyond Silicon Valley to find strong R&D, France represents a great opportunity. It has a large community of well-trained and innovative engineers and a cost-basis that is approximately 50% of Silicon Valley.
Conversely, French startups, once they have a proven product, need to be present in key technology markets, particularly in the US. To this end, attracting American investors is a critical requirement. Criteo, Talend, and Scality succeeded in leveraging US technology and capital markets and as a result, each expanded their French teams dramatically based on the strong business growth that resulted from access to the US market.
Nevertheless, some American investors avoid French startups because of the persistence of business stereotypes. While these clichés are outmoded, they have contributed to a deficit of foreign capital available to French startups.
The French Tech has unique advantages: some of the world’s best and most innovative engineers, a culture that promotes company loyalty and staff longevity; a dynamic pool of entrepreneurs and talented staff; a network of experienced business angels and venture capital investors; government assistance through a research tax credit; and Bpifrance, which injects nearly 1 billion Euros per year into the digital economy in the form of grants, low-rate loans, and investment capital to make the best use of public resources.
The entrepreneurs, investors, and institutions involved in this summit have set a goal to increase the confidence of American investors in the French startup community by engaging in dialogue and demonstrating that France has the means and the ambition to be a fertile ground for startups and innovation.
American investors will meet with leading French startups and with members of the French government at France Digitale Day on June 11th. On June 12th they will visit Ecole 42 with Xavier Niel, before going to meet startups in the Sentier neighborhood and visiting the Futur en Seine exhibition.
Jérôme Lecat, who launched this initiative, is founder and CEO of Scality, a leader in petabyte-scale software defined storage for the enterprise and the Cloud, with headquarters in Silicon Valley and R&D France.
About the French Tech Initiative
French Tech is the collective name for all those working in the French startup market. For some years now, French Tech have as a group shown incredible dynamism, driven by a new generation of entrepreneurs, investors, engineers, designers, and other talented people. Believing that startups – innovative companies with strong growth potential and a global ambition – constitute a major source of growth and employment for the French economy, the State launched the French Tech Initiative. The Initiative aims at accelerating the development of the startup network in France and at strengthening the international allure of French Tech. Conceived as a joint venture between both private and public interests and provided with €215M as part of the Future Investment Program, the French Tech Initiative is a collective project driven jointly by the Ministry for the Economy, Production Restructuring, and Digital Affairs, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Caisse des Dépôts, Bpifrance, Ubifrance, and the French Agency for International Investments. It is directed by the French Tech Mission as part of the Secretary of State for Digital Affairs. www.lafrenchtech.com
About the French Agency for International Investments (Invest In France Agency)
The IIFA is the national agency in charge of seeking out and facilitating international investments. It is the key organization with regard to the economic image and appeal of France. It employs an international network of contacts and works in close partnership with regional agencies for economic development to provide a personalized service for foreign investors. In the United States, the IIFA has 20 employees divided between 3 offices (New York, Chicago, San Francisco). www.invest-in-france.org/fr
Bpifrance, a public investment bank and subsidiary of the Caisse des Dépôts and the State, assists companies from their initial steps right up to stock exchange listing through credit, securities, and internal capital. Bpifrance also provides support and assistance services focusing on innovation and exports, in partnership with UBIFRANCE and Coface.
With 42 regional bases to its name (90% of decisions are taken by the regional base concerned), Bpifrance helps entrepreneurs to be economically competitive. Bpifrance acts as support for the public policies led by the State and the regional authorities with the aim of:
• promoting the economic development of our regions
• participating in the industrial revival of France
• cultivating the success of tomorrow.
With Bpifrance, companies benefit from the assistance of a close, powerful, and effective representative, who can provide for all their needs in terms of finance, innovation, and investment.
www.bpifrance.fr – Follow us on Twitter: @bpifrance
About France Digitale
France Digitale brings together investors (capital risk and business angels) and rapidly growing startups to establish powerful French digital companies. It organizes events to contribute to the growth of startups both in France and internationally and publishes concrete figures and analysis to help develop the market. Founded in 2012 by 33 investors and entrepreneurs, the group now has more than 350 members.
More information visit: http://www.francedigitale.org/
Scality is a leader in petabyte-level storage solutions. The company was created in 2009 with the aim of revolutionizing data storage by offering an entirely software-based solution that could easily deal with exponential data growth, guarantee high availability, and offer excellent performance while reducing usage costs. Scality’s scale-out storage solution, RING, is based on patented storage technology that can be used with any standard server. It provides adaptability and exceptional data persistence, while the consistent scale-out design guarantees unprecedented performance. Storage systems based on Scality can easily be integrated with applications thanks to the inclusion of standard protocols such as NFS, SWIFT, and Cinder for Openstack. Over the last four years, Scality has developed and deployed storage solutions that allow tens of million of users to access billions of files with an availability rate of 100%. Scality’s impressive list of clients includes five of the ten largest American cable operators, two of the three largest French telephone operators, the largest internet portals in Italy, Germany, and the United Kingdom, as well as several mobile operators in Japan. For more information visit: scality.com.
Jolicloud is the largest personal cloud platform. Created in Paris in 2009 by Tariq Krim, founder of Netvibes, and the founders of Skype, it is one of the few French companies offering cloud services to the general public. Having won numerous awards for the quality of its user interface, Jolicloud is considered by the American press to be one of the pioneers in this sector. With JoliOS, the first operating system based on HTML5 technology, which has downloaded more than 5 million times across the world, and Jolibook, the first cloud computer sold in supermarkets in England, Jolicloud has put forward a new vision of cloud services, conceived and developed in Europe. Jolicloud is now concentrating on adapting its personal cloud service for the Google Chromebook platform and is reinventing how we access its cloud data by proposing that each of its users construct a personal space for their entire digital life: storage, content services, connected objects, etc. The company, which has developed its own Store, wishes to continue its integration policy by allowing small French and European companies to position themselves as alternatives to large US services, while at the same time profiting from the international visibility of Jolicloud. www.jolicloud.com
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Lumina Communications PR for Scality
Vanessa Godet – firstname.lastname@example.org – +33 1 41 79 84 33
Séverine de Carvalho – email@example.com – +33 1 40 74 73 88
Detailed program of events:
11/06 France Digital Days: http://francedigitale.org/day2/program.html
11/06 Visit to Ecole 42: http://www.42.fr/
12/06 Futur en Seine: http://www.futur-en-seine.fr/fens2014/
12/06 Visit to startups in the Sentier neighborhood: https://mapsengine.google.com/map/viewer?hl=en&authuser=0&mid=z-DJqLaU6d48.kYkszx0DIFFg
12/06 Startup Assembly: http://www.startupassembly.co/
Investors and influential figures:
Doug Carlisle, Menlo Ventures: Created in 1976, Menlo ventures manages more than $4 billion dollars. They have notably invested in Hotmail, Ascend, UUnet, Check, Siri, and Uber.
Margit Wennmachers, Andreesen Horowitz: Created in 2009, Andreesen Horowitz, manages more than $4 billion dollars. They have notably invested in successes such as Skype, Instagram, Oculus VR, and Airbnb.
Om Malik, GigaOM and True Ventures: Om Malik is the founder of GigaOM, one of the most-read blogs in Silicon Valley. He is also Venture Partner at True Ventures. Created in 2006, True Ventures manage nearly a billion dollars and have made more than 100 investments, which have already created nearly 2000 jobs
Dylan Tweney, Venture Beat: Dylan is editor of Venture Beat, one of the most-read blogs in Silicon Valley
Matt Turk, First Mark Capital: Created in 2008, First Mark manages nearly a billion dollars. They have notably invested in Netgear, Pinterest, Shopify, and others.
Will Gaybrick, Thrive Capital: Created in 2009 by Joshua Kushner, Thrive Capital is an investment fund focused on media and the internet. With close to $200 million in the current fund, Thrive has notably invested in Instagram.
Jonathan Seelig, Globespan Capital: managing more than $1 billion, Globespan Capital are a venture capital fund who are very active in the fields of technology, the internet, and mobile communications.
Ed Zimmermann, Grape Arbor VC: Grape Arbor VC is a network of highly active business angels, working in New York.
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